Driving in winter conditions is difficult, and those of us in the Midwest have learned to be wary of driving in those conditions, but often we have no choice. That flurry of snow in the morning can easily escalate into a full-blown storm by the time you leave work. When snowstorms rage, road conditions change quickly and extra precautions are required. The personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham hope that you will follow our tips for driving during a snowstorm and have an accident-free winter driving season.
Five Tips for Driving in Winter Conditions:
- Plan ahead. Park off-street if you think a storm is coming to avoid getting your car towed or plowed in. If you must drive in weather that continues to worsen, be sure that you have a fully stocked emergency kit with supplies such as blankets, a cellphone, winter clothes, and a shovel in case you get stuck.
- Note changing road conditions. When driving, stay in the inside lane farthest away from the curb on multilane roads, while on a single-lane road, drive closer to the center. Snow usually piles up along the edges of the road, so driving in established tire tracks is safer. When changing lanes, do so carefully, as ridges of snow also tend to build up between lanes that can cause you to lose control while crossing.
- Watch out for snowplows and salt trucks. If you come across a snowplow or salt truck, drive slowly and give them the right of way, leaving plenty of room including a minimum of 150 feet to stop. Snowplows and salt trucks must often make sudden stops and turns, and may not even be aware of your vehicle if the storm is strong, so never try to pass them.
- Stay on visible stretches of road. Never drive off the plowed road unless you know what’s under the snow. Driving into a ditch is easy with a foot of snow obscuring curbs and driveways. And one of the leading causes of drowning in the Midwest comes from cars falling through lake ice after mistakenly driving onto a frozen surface covered with snow.
- Eliminate distractions. The snow on the ground and cold weather outside your vehicle are concern enough. Don’t make things more difficult by distracting yourself with loud music, texting or distracting passengers. Give the road your full attention and be attentive of other drivers who may not be driving as safe as you. If you must use your phone to contact someone or for directions, consider a hands-free alternative with voice commands so your eyes can remain on the road.
Unfortunately, accidents happen every winter with thousands of injuries and deaths associated simply with poor road and weather conditions. The attorneys at Hupy and Abraham hope that with these few tips in mind you’ll be better equipped to drive in winter storms. But in the unfortunate incident that you or a loved one are injured due to another driver's negligent, unsafe actions during inclement weather, please contact our personal injury experts at 800-800-5678 for a free consultation and to ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries.